California Attorney General Xavier Becerra joined a coalition of 19 Attorneys General in filing an amicus brief in Garza v. Azar. The brief supports the rights of young immigrant women who are currently in federal custody and are being denied access to reproductive healthcare, including their right to terminate a pregnancy, by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Refugee Resettlement.
“There should be no ambiguity over a woman’s right to make her own health decisions in the United States, no matter where she is from,” said Attorney General Becerra. “The Trump Administration must respect those rights rather than coerce or force young immigrant women to abandon them. We will fight any policy that aims to set a dangerous precedent threatening the rights of all women.”
The federal HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement’s policy requires the agency’s director, lawyer – and non-physician – Scott Lloyd, to review each request for access to services that terminate pregnancy. The director is also authorized to override the request of any minor, even if she has complied with any pertinent state law requirements, including obtaining parental consent or a judicial or physician bypass. The Attorneys General argue that the federal government’s efforts to block immigrant women’s access to services that terminate pregnancy violate both states’ rights and the constitutional rights of women.
Attorney General Becerra joined the brief filed in the D.C. Circuit along with the Attorneys General of New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai’i, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.
A copy of the amicus brief is attached to the electronic version of this release here.
This article was released by the California Attorney General’s Office.